When Sassy went to the bank yesterday, our next door neighbor called "Sassy" from the next lane. The new teller gives Sassy two treats each time, smiling and saying, "That is a smart dog." He was not annoyed when Sassy barked into the speaker at the drive through lane, which made everyone in the bank jump. He enjoyed it.
Sassy is so welcome at Lowe's that she gets stirred up as we drive to the end of the parking lot where the gardening center is located. The veteran staffers know her, but yesterday a new helper bent down and said, "Oh what a beautiful dog." Sassy wagged her whole body and went back to the young lady to get more love, after meeting a few new people.
If there are only a few people at Lowe's, Sassy sits down on the floor and watches while I buy mulch.
Everyone was milling around and buying plants, as if spring just started. I needed additional mulch for the expanded rose gardens and the future Animal Resort and Spa, to be named Downtown Abbey. We are near the downtown of Springdale, which explains the apparent spelling error.
|By Norma Boeckler|
The Conclusion of Teaming with Microbes
With the microbiology returned to your yard, soil structure improves. Mycorrhizal fungi will help your lawn, trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and veggies get the nutrients they need. Pathogens face fierce competition. Plants get more of the kind of nitrogen they prefer. Water drainage and retention are improved. Pollutants are decayed. Food tastes better. Flowers look better. Trees are less stressed. And you don’t have to work so hard; you will have lots of helpers. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about the affects of chemicals on you or your family, pets, or friends. Remember: no one ever fertilized an old growth forest.
Lewis, Wayne; Lowenfels, Jeff; (2010-09-10). Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (Kindle Locations 3005-3010). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
These authors truly created a pivotal book in gardening, although they still make some projects far too complicated and time-consuming. Like every gardening book, they make composting seem like building the Great Pyramid, which Herodotus claimed thousands of people labored to build for 20 years.
But the authors do realize that mulching on the spot is much easier than composting, turning, and hauling. I keep a compost area going because that is the handiest way to take care of excess organic matter, such as extra lumps of sod. I have one clump that must be chopped into pieces or left to compost. In the compost its billions of bacteria, protozoa, nematodes, fungi, earthworms, and fungi will reduce clay and interact with the rotting leaves below. In the rose garden the same large lump of sod is an obstacle to trip over.
While many people are buying inorganic fertilizer for the water table, which is where most of it will go, I buy food for the soil when I get wood mulch.
Lewis and Lowenfels show how food on the soil surface becomes living food below. Sandy by itself does not support life. Pioneer plants or opportunistic weeds will grow in sand, deposit organic matter, and gradually improve the root zone for other plants to grow.
Placing food on the surface, whether mulch or compost, will mean that many more creatures supported below the surface, whether microscopic or much larger. The activity of all those creatures, as designed by Creating Word, will keep necessary ingredients broken down and circulating in the root zone for the plants' use.
That stack of newspapers is a weed barrier, but also a bundle of free, earthworm-friendly fertilizer.
|The crow dwarfs the other birds in IQ, appetite,|
and pest eating.
The Birds Agree
I have been hearing a crow cawing in the morning, but never saw one in the yard. Today I went to the window and watched as an enormous crow flew to the Jackson Bird Spa table. He definitely wanted to get near that lump of suet from the meat market, which was hanging on a tree.
A jay shrieked at him and buzzed him time after time. He ducked and seemed indifferent to the attacks, but flew off. He had already sipped some water from one of the baths.
The birds agree that a variety of foods will bring more species. They also like many baths rather than one. When our team of engineers hauls the concrete blocks over the fence, we will build various levels spots for them to feed, shelter, and bathe.
The Jackson Mulch floor will extend their feeding area, since bugs and worms always enjoy wood mulch. Since insects love mulch, so the the spiders.
Rain may or may not fall today. Sunday is supposed to be stormy.
The crepe myrtle bush has suddenly come alive. The tulips are in full color as the daffodils fade. I am waiting for the Crown Imperials and Giant Aliums to grow up taller and show their colors. We have very healthy grape hyacinth flowers here and there, some growing out of the mulch.
Roses and Sweet Corn Draw Neighbors
Our Mexican neighbor across the cul-de-sac came over to ask about my rose bushes. Later I will help him with his single rose bush. We will have roses for all occasions and quite a color display. He said, "Front and back?"
We know all the families on the cul-de-sac, through Sassy, walking around, and the plights of winter. The same man came over to borrow salt during the last storm, the extra snowfall that everyone loathed. He thanked me again for that dollar's worth of snowmelt.
Our helper and I did the snow shoveling for three homes, ours and our immediate neighbors, and one came over to help with the last snow shoveling.
|You see leaves - I see soil improvement.|